After a career at sea for 18 years, I came into shore based ship management and was responsible for BP Shipping’s Offshore and then gas fleet operations. After BP Shipping I was appointed CEO of a NGO involved in gas tanker and terminal safety and operations based in London. Involvement with DGH came with the 2008 Bike Ride and I became a Trustee in 2010. Having always known about the Homes it was beneficial to know the workings of the UK and Kolkata committees more closely. I became Chairman in 2015 and have taken part in five Bike Bengal cycle runs.
Troon Friends of Kalimpong grew out of the very successful 2007 Homes Choir UK tour during which they spent two happy nights in Troon and treated us to a wonderful concert in Troon Old. Thereafter I was invited to join the UK Committee, and enjoyed a time as vice-chair. I began sponsoring children participating in their fund raising walk from Kalimpong to Darjeeling, and then sponsored a wee girl called Anita who I met in 2001 on my first 3Ks Tour, a great way to visit the Homes. I currently sponsor Rocky, a final year student.
Jim Gibson (Treasurer)
I am a retired Chartered Accountant, specialising in charities, with practical experience in charity governance, accounting, stewardship and strategic management. I was introduced to Dr Graham’s Homes by my wife, Maida, who has sponsored children at the Homes for 40 years. I enjoy hillwalking, languages and travel.
Gloria Potter (Scholarship Secretary)
Has worked for 35 years with children, families, and communities. Her last full time post before retiral was as Accessibility Strategy Office for a local authority, covering 60 primary and 12 secondary schools. Her part time work as an Associate Lecturer with the Open University for 15 years focused on children and families degree courses. Although retired she is still a Consultant. She and her husband David also fostered for many years and Gloria worked with the Scottish Government on the review of Fostering in Scotland. She now sits on the Advisory Committee for Fostering Network Scotland. She is an Elder of Fetteresso Church of Scotland and is a safe-guarder. Of her four degrees, three are focused on children, wellbeing, development, and safeguarding.
His personal family connection with the Homes provides the incentive to seek to make a difference to the operations of Homes and School to the benefit of sponsored children, pupils, teachers and sponsors alike. Visiting the Homes annually in the course of sponsorship management, his construction background adds value to his time on campus when called upon to advise on infrastructure and building issues. He is also a member of the Kolkata Board of Management.
Anne Hoggan (Committee Secretary)
During my first visit in 2006 I was totally captivated by the children at Dr Graham’s Homes and decided to become more involved. I joined the UK Committee in 2008 and have returned to Kalimpong twice – on both occasions meeting up with the child I support. I very much enjoy being the Secretary of the Committee.
Daughter of Dr David Graham, the eldest of the founder’s six children. Kalimpong Association trustee and sponsorship secretary for 30 years which has involved corresponding with many children at the school. London Ladies Lunch Committee for over 30 years including 5 years as Chairman. Director of Dr Graham’s Homes ( Greeting Cards) Ltd for 9 years.
I have been interested in the Dr Graham’s Homes for about 25 yrs. My initial contact was through our Guild (Church of Scotland in Dundee) which has supported the Homes since the very beginning. I am now retired from working as a doctor and last year, together with my husband John, I was very pleased to be able to visit Kalimpong as part of the 3Ks Tour. I was impressed with what I saw and am keen to become more involved in supporting the work and ethos of the Homes.
My introduction to Dr. Graham`s Homes was during a McCabe Pilgrimages holiday in 2006. Since then, I have visited five times, three as participant in Bike Bengal cycle rides and hope to return again in 2017 on the Bike Bhutan cycle ride. I have been involved in sponsoring and fundraising for about 10 years out of a conviction of the benefits of education within a Christian ethos.
Living and working as a Dental nurse on Arran, I learned of the famous 3 K’s tours lead by John Webster. My first tour was in 2007, I was hooked, captivated and then another four tours followed. I have since been involved and fundraising for 11 years with Arran friends of Kalimpong, and then I became a Trustee.
I was born in the Homes in the 50’s when my father was Farm Manager. I am a tour operator by trade and on our committee organise trips to India giving sponsors the opportunity to meet their children. I also help with the various ways we communicate with our supporters.
I have been a cookery teacher , a freelance cook and have worked in the fashion industry. On my husband’s retirement from the military we came to live at Cawdor in Nairnshire . We joined the sponsorship program set up at Cawdor and Croy Church in 20004 under the guidance of Nigel Graham. I have continued this work ,introducing more sponsors and by raising funds.
Margaretta Purtill (Vice Chair)
I believe that I am the only OGB and Anglo Indian serving on the DGH UK Committee. I had the wonderful experience and privilege to pass through the Homes (1950 to 1962.) and was admitted at age 5 years. I was 21 when I first sponsored a child from the Homes. I am happy to say that I continue to do so. My heart is in the Homes and as such will do whatever it takes to restore it to what it used to be – a Christian School (Home) for the needy/deprived Anglo Indian child.
A career in education with an emphasis on Special Needs provides extra support to Homes staff in dealing with the particular problems that many of our sponsored children bring with them to the Homes. She has visited Kalimpong on many occasions so is able to follow through on the issues affecting many of our children. She maintains a close personal contact with many of our college students and graduates.
Served on the staff of Dr. Graham’s Homes from 1964 – 1973 as Chaplain & Farm Manager – a splendid experience with the children and staff and with the Nepali workers on the farm. Joined U.K. Committee shortly after return. Served two separate terms as Chairman and now the “old-man” of the Committee.
[‘Old man’ of the Committee is not apt – John is more like the “Father of the Committee” – as an eminent and long serving MP in Parliament would be recognised, Editor.]